How Do Oil Free Air Compressors Work?

If you are at all familiar with air compressors, you are probably aware of the fact that they generally require oil to operate. Oil is used to lubricate pistons, screws, and other moving parts inside of an air compressor to prevent friction and allow the machine to operate smoothly. Unlike most of its counterparts, the scroll air compressor functions without using any oil at all.

The Mechanics of Scroll Air Compressors

So, how does the scroll air compressor work if it’s oil free? The answer is in the design. Inside of a scroll compressor, there are two spiral shaped compressor screws. When the compressor is in operation, one screw remains stationary while the other screw rotates around it eccentrically. The two spirals intermesh, but they do not touch. This forces the air that is being drawn into the compressor into an increasingly confined space, producing compressed air. Because the two compressor screws don’t actually touch, they don’t create friction, so the need for oil is eliminated.

Advantages of Oil Free Air Compressors

Now that you understand how the scroll air compressor works, you may be wondering “What’s the point?” Well, there are plenty of advantages to using an oil free air compressor. For one thing, eliminating oil from the air compressor equation means cutting down on both maintenance and mess. Scroll compressors don’t require frequent oil changes and constant clean-up the way oil-lubricated compressors do. Scroll compressors are also much quieter than other compressors since their inner mechanisms don’t actually touch, and as a result, don’t generate a lot of excess noise.

Applications of Oil Free Air Compressors

Thanks to their unique properties, scroll air compressors have applications in a lot of very specific fields. For example, they can often be found in dental surgeries and hospitals, because it is crucial for such environments to have completely oil-free air, which would not be possible if an oil-lubricated compressor was in use. Scroll compressors are also used for milk production by dairy farmers who value the low noise levels, which don’t disturb their animals. Overall, scroll air compressors are a great choice for anyone looking for a quiet, efficient compressor that is 100% oil free.